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The campusM app enables an organization to carry out systematic and comprehensive zero-touch attendance monitoring against scheduled timetabled events, keeping the attendees and organizers informed of attendance and offering the institution the option of data analysis.
Universities, in particular, are keen to monitor attendance at scheduled classroom events and to make it as unobtrusive as possible to reduce the impact of formal teaching activities.
There are often regulatory requirements for students to attend teaching sessions but, in the past, it has been difficult to identify a satisfactory solution that allows for accurate capture of data that is not prone to errors and omissions. In the UK, for example, Universities have to accurately monitor attendance for auditing for UK Visas & immigration (UKVI) for monitoring overseas students studying in the UK on a Tier 4 Points Based System (PBS) student visa. Overseas students have been monitored where practical in the United States by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) since 2003.
Precise attendance monitoring enables the organization to identify students who may be experiencing difficulties and thus missing teaching sessions on a regular basis. Finally, it allows an organisation to actively monitor space utilization for optimisation purposes.
The attendance monitoring options are only available to the Student Life and the Enterprise subscription licensing options.
campusM Attendance Monitoring
The campusM Attendance Monitoring module uses a small Bluetooth device known as an iBeacon located in each teaching room. As a student enters a region covered by an iBeacon with either an Apple or Android phone with the campusM app and Bluetooth services enabled, the iBeacon sends out a unique Id. The signal can be picked up even when the campusM app is not running.
The Attendance monitoring tile is configured against the timetable integration. The Attendance tile checks the location of the teaching room against the timetable for each student as they enter the region of the iBeacon. If the student is timetabled for a teaching session in the classroom and allows the app to automatically check-in, their attendance at that class is registered. They receive a notification that their attendance has been registered and the live Attendance tile on their app is updated.
Students have the option to turn off the auto Check-In and carry out the registration manually. They are still notified that their location matches an event on their timetable. They also have the option to manually select a different room for last minute room changes. Attendance monitoring can also be carried out when the app is offline as it uses the timetable cache.
Attendance monitoring is not available on Windows phones or the web app and Lecturer Check-In must be used (see below). If a student is unable to access the Attendance monitoring modules because they do not have an Apple or Android device, they can also use Lecturer Check-In. Bluetooth must be switched on and Apple phones require permission to be granted for location services.
The configurable workflow allows the customer to configure two check-in reminders that the event is due to start, or has already started. Check Out can be configured to take place automatically at the end of the event or can be done manually.
Attendance Capture Screens
The student sees the following information and data capture on their device. There is a Welcome screen the first time the student logs on.
Welcome screen and Auto Check-In has not been enabled
Once Auto Check-In has been enabled, the student is automatically registered as attending the class:
The Attendance Information page identifies the Attendance history for that user:
Attendance Capture Live Tile
The Check-In status is displayed on the live tile so the student can easily check their attendance has been captured.
Attendance Capture live tiles
The tile can also warn for issues and offers assistance to the end user to diagnose the problems, such as Bluetooth or location services switched off.
The student receives a number of notifications for a scheduled timetable event:
- A Check-In reminder that an event is due to start.Attendance Check-in reminder
- If the student has not checked in to a scheduled event, they are sent a follow-up reminder:Attendance follow-up reminder
- Once the student is in range of the iBeacon and they have Auto Check-In enabled, the app checks whether they want to record their attendance:Attendance confirmation message
- Assuming the student confirms their attendance, they receive a notification that their attendance has been registered:Attendance notification of successful Check-In
All outstanding notifications are deleted once a student has checked into an event.
A lecturer has access to a menu option that allows them to manage the attendance register manually. If a student cannot register their own attendance for some reason or has managed to register in error, the lecturer has functionality to Check-In or Check-Out students:
iBeacons are simple BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) transmitters that transmit a unique ID that is picked up by mobile devices, technology that has been made popular by Apple but is increasingly available on Android devices. They are part of a family of technologies that facilities micro location technology, which is much more accurate at pinpointing location than GPS.
An iBeacon sends out a unique ID that can be intercepted even when the app is not running. The iBeacon signal range can be configured to range between 1 - 200 meters. The unique ID on the beacon consists of three elements:
iBeacon unique ID
- UUID - 32 hexadecimal digits, split into 5 groups, for example:C8E48AEC-7971-11E4-B116-123B93F75CBA
- Major - Integer values can be between 0 and 65535. 1 – 20 is used to set the Beacon Region.
- Minor- Integer values between 0 and 65535.
The Major region has to change before the system recognises that the student has entered a region and initiates a more active scan to identify the specific beacon. If the student is already present in a region and moves to a classroom without crossing any boundaries, the system does not pick up their attendance.
No Region change
It is therefore important to configure the regions so that each classroom is placed in its own region. campusM can provide a matrix to enable all the different locations and regions to be plotted accurately.
There is no further action if there are no matches between the location and the scheduled time table events. The Check-In procedure commences if there is a match between the location and the timetable.
It is possible to have duplicate iBeacons in the same room with exactly the same unique ID (UUID - Major - Minor).
iBeacon Configuration and Maintenance
iBeacon configuration and maintenance is carried out using a web browser https://panel.kontakt.io/ or can be done using an app.
iBeacons are assigned to specific administrators who manage the beacons and modify settings in the Cloud and use the app to transmit the changes.
Check-In data for attendance monitoring is stored in the Ex Libris Cloud and can be extracted by calling a web service. The service requires authentication and the customer can subsequently extract data to their own warehouse.
Trending - Check-In numbers